Drivers split as race start approaches

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER's exhortation that only one driver would not agreed to no overtaking in the first two chicanes does not appear to reflect the reality of the situation. We understand that Jacques Villeneuve is not the only driver who is not interested in the idea and others are being told that they will race because they are paid to do so.

The FIA is making no official comment but we understand that the race will not started behind a Safety Car and beyond that the governing body can do nothing except punish drivers if their decisions result in accidents with some drivers racing and others not.

The general feeling in the Monza paddock is that the no overtaking idea is ludicrous and that the F1 drivers should either race or they should go home. There were intense negotiations going on in the paddock the race start approached.

In the last few minutes we have heard that Schumacher has now said that if the drivers cannot agree the race will go ahead as normal but this is yet to be confirmed.

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